Well known ICT industry veteran Channa de Silva took reins as the General Manager/ Chief Executive Officer of LankaClear recently with former General Manager/ CEO, Sunimal Weerasooriya moving away from the position following an illustrious eight year tenure.
Central Bank backed LankaClear functions as Sri Lanka’s national payment network and is entrusted with developing the platform for faster, secure and accessible payment solutions to the nation while harnessing greater financial efficiency and inclusivity. With over 22 years’ of experience encompassing a spectrum of industries, having served in several leading multinationals and local organisations, de Silva brings with him a wealth of knowledge, expertise and business acumen to drive operations and growth of LankaClear and take the organisation to the next elevation, with the role out of several groundbreaking payment solutions planned during the next few years.
de Silva went down in history by becoming Sri Lanka’s first ever webmaster with the development of Sri Lanka’s first commercial web site http://www.lanka.net/ (1994) and he was also the engineer responsible for the establishment of the first ever dedicated Internet connection in Sri Lanka back in 1995. Some of the major projects implemented under his leadership include the first online newspaper in the South Asia region (Daily News in 1995); first radio station on-line (TNL Radio in 1996); first ever Wi-Fi network in the country; International IP Telephony Network; state-of-the-art NOC; F3 standard Earth Station; network security infrastructure and first Pre-paid Internet card system (Internet-in-a-box) etc. He was also a member of the local language workgroup of Sri Lanka and contributed immensely towards enabling people to use technology in local languages. He also played a pivotal role in ensuring that a Language Interface Pack was built in Sinhala and Tamil for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office in 2007.
Apart from his notable contribution towards the country’s ICT infrastructure development, de Silva is also known for his prowess in giving leadership and spearheading growth at organisations that he was previously attached to. Prior to joining LankaClear he headed the Sri Lankan and Maldivian operations of Singapore based ICT consultancy - Thakral One as the Senior Vice President. He was orchestral in introducing IBM’s software universe to Sri Lanka and developing IBM’s software business during his tenure as the DGM – Software Group of IBM Sri Lanka. de Silva also served as the Director - Enterprise Business and Public Sector at Microsoft Sri Lanka where he led the company through unprecedented growth. His outstanding achievements were acknowledged numerous times by Microsoft where he was singled out for Microsoft Gold Club Excellence Award in 2011 for exceptional performance; the Microsoft Share Fighter Champion in 2012 for winning against competition; and Microsoft Sri Lanka secured the Best Enterprise Team in South Asia for three consecutive years under his leadership. He has held several CxO portfolios during his career including the position of CEO at several local IT companies earlier in his career.
An Old boy of Royal Collage Colombo, de Silva obtained his BSc. (Honours) and MSc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the State University of New York, USA specialised in Data Communication. He also holds an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) Sri Lanka and the distinguished membership at the IEEE (USA), Tau Beta Pai (USA), Eta Kappa Nu (USA) and Golden Key (USA) for academic excellence.
He has also been a senior consultant to a number of leading companies and has shared his experience and expertise in the areas of e-commerce, e-security and technology trends at numerous forums as a keynote speaker. He had also been attached to PIM, Colombo University, SLIIT and Open University of Sri Lanka as a lecturer for their MBA/Degree programs on numerous instances during his illustrious career.